By Carlos Arias
LAS VEGAS --- Amir Khan missed out on the Floyd Mayweather sweepstakes this time, but he believes it could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
"Things happen for a reason," Khan said after arriving at the MGM Grand on Tuesday for fight week. "I think that gives me a chance to get into the 147 division and get my feet wet and get to know what it's like fighting at this new weight division. I'm killing myself making weight, so it's good to test the waters. Luis Collazo is not really a test in the waters. It's going to be a tough fight. I'd love to fight Floyd Mayweather, but I believe maybe it's for the best.
"It gives me a few fights at this weight category and more time to spend with (trainer) Virgil Hunter. Look at the past two fights I had with him. We spent eight weeks at a time. I spent a lot of time with Virgil. Out of the 12 months I spent about eight months in the gym training and building that relationship with Virgil to improve on the defensive side and the footwork. I've been changing a lot of things in my style. I see a big difference. Even sparring partners I used to spar with see a huge difference in power, speed, movement and everything. I couldn't keep them off me at one time, but now we keeping them away. That comes with technique."
As a consolation prize, Khan takes on Collazo on the Mayweather-Marcos Maidana undercard on Saturday night on Showtime PPV.
"Definitely, he's a good opponent," Khan said of Collazo. "I think in his last fight he proved himself by knocking out Victor Ortiz, who was a former formidable opponent. He's got a big name, he's a good fighter and he knocked him out in the second round. Yeah, definitely, I think he earned his way into this fight."
The former WBA and IBF 140-pound champion believes he will be much more effective at 147 pounds.
"And a move to 147 (pounds) was something I was looking to do a long time ago," Khan said. "I should have done it probably a year ago, a year or two ago, but for whatever reason I didn't do it. It hit me in the (Julio) Diaz fight. I just felt like a day or two before the weigh-ins I was 14 pounds overweight. I just felt like I can't keep doing this to myself, killing myself to make weight. So I'm going to go up and here we are."
Khan said Collazo's style has changed a little bit since he lost a questionable decision to Hatton in 2006.
"Yeah, at times he boxes more," Khan said. "He knows he doesn't kave knockout power, so he boxes more. He's quite slick. I mean, I look for the best Collazo to come out. That's what I've been doing, watching videos and stuff like that. We waiting for and hoping for the best Collazo on Saturday night."
Contact Carlos Arias on Twitter @PunchyMcGee. Tags: Amir Khan , Luis Collazo , Khan-Collazo , Khan vs. Collazo